Staying healthy is a dance, and it’s messy business sometimes, just like making this drink—believe me, you’ll discover this when your fingers are spotted yellow, your “stainless” steel pot has temporarily taken on a golden hue and you find your favorite grey sweater has brand new splashes of color on it! So, is it messy? Yes. Worth it? Definitely (although I suggest you consider wearing your favorite orange sweater when you make this).
Food blogging while navigating cancer is also quite the adventure. I’ve got to go with the flow of what I can eat, and be flexible to find what sparks interest and gives my body what it needs in the moment. I love food! I love growing it, eating it, thinking about it, and sharing it with you. At the same time, some days it’s hard to know what to eat, as my food tolerances come and go like a game of whack-a-mole. Just when one disappears, another one pops up! At one point, I felt utterly ridiculous to admit that I was carrot intolerant. I couldn’t even say that one with a straight face.
Other days, when the stars align and those wacky moles decide to hibernate, my body says, okay, we’re great now! Feast woman, feast! Eat carrots to your heart’s desire. Cancer is my rag-tag companion of sorts, and I’ve decided to engage in this quirky little tango dance and flow with it instead of pushing against it, because life just feels better that way.
I’ll never tell you that one miracle superfood will change your life, magically bring you to perfect health, or give you unicorn magic (you’ve got to create that yourself!). What I do know is that life is the sum of the small things and all the little choices matter; whether it’s taking a walk to get some nature time in, choosing to dive into a passion project instead instead of getting buried in social media, having a laugh with a favorite person, or cozying up with a warm healthy “hug” of a beverage while purposely relaxing.
Enter one little delightful beverage choice to add to your day—golden milk! It’s made by steeping your favorite milk (I like the smooth creaminess of almond-coconut) with turmeric, ginger and black pepper. In India, golden milk is a home remedy used regularly in many families to soothe a multitude of ailments. Here’s a fun article on the facts and fictions surrounding golden milk. I use it for its anti-inflammatory benefits (I’m even okay with calling it a delicious placebo effect). If that’s not compelling enough, people have been using it to dye fabric for centuries–How’s that for multitasking? You can make this milk and dye your very own sweater at the same time!
Although I do quite enjoy the basic version of golden milk–turmeric-hued and creamy with just the right amount of spicy ginger and a barely perceptible bit of steeped black peppercorns, I like to give mine a subtle vanilla-like roundness and sweetness by blending it with soaked dates (thanks for the tip Didi!), and sprinkling it with cinnamon. Giving it a spin in the blender at the end creates a latte-like froth on top. These additions make it feel like a treat!
Is one cup of golden milk enough to keep all of life’s whack-a-moles at bay? Of course not, but it’s yet another small healthy choice we can make to show those ragtag dance partners who’s really in the lead! Is this dance an incredibly messy and unpredictable pursuit? Absolutely. Is it worth it? Most definitely!
- 2 cups unsweetened almond-coconut milk (or other dairy free milk)
- 3-6 pitted dates
- 1½ teaspoons finely grated ginger root
- 1 tablespoon finely grated turmeric root
- Cinnamon for garnish
- Soak the dates in very hot water for 20 minutes
- Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan and lower to a simmer for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove all solids. Pour the milk into a blender and add the soaked dates to taste (4-5 gives a subtle sweetness, use more or less to taste). Blend until completely smooth. Serve hot in your favorite mug and sprinkle with cinnamon.
I put turmeric raw in my smoothies and grind them in my Vitamix. Do you know of a reason to cook it other than flavoring the milk?
Good question! I hadn’t considered it. I’m not sure there’s a good reason to think one is better than the other. I think they both allow you to reap the nutritional benefits, especially with the black pepper–it helps your body to absorb the curcumin. In this recipe, it’s cooked so that it will steep in the milk. I bet with a Vitamix you could keep the solids if you blended it enough, although it might be stronger flavored and more bitter.